Can you block the prosecution from using evidence against you?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

If you don’t aggressively fight back against the drug case that the prosecution has built against you, then you could end up being convicted and sentenced to prison time. You could also suffer damage to your reputation that impacts your personal relationships and prohibits you from securing the employment that you want. Knowing the potential penalties that you could face should motivate you to build an aggressive criminal defense to protect yourself as fully as possible.

But what if the evidence against you is strong? Should you give in and accept a plea deal? Not necessarily, and definitely not before you fully assess your criminal defense options. After all, there could be strong criminal defense strategies available to you that devastate the prosecution’s case. Let’s look at one of the strongest: evidence suppression.

What is evidence suppression?

If you succeed on a motion to suppress evidence, then you’ve effectively blocked the prosecution from presenting certain evidence against you. In the drug case context, you could deny the prosecution the ability to submit incriminating evidence gathered through a search or acquired from witnesses. Suppressing evidence can quickly derail the prosecution’s case and put you in a strong position to negotiate reduced charges, secure an acquittal, or even obtain case dismissal.

When can you suppress evidence?

There are several circumstances that can warrant evidence suppression. Here are some of the most common justifications that you might be able to rely upon in your case:

  • Illegally seized evidence: Many drug cases are built on evidence that’s seized from the accused’s person, car, or home. If you can show that the police violated your Constitutional rights in conducting a search and seizure, then you can argue that the police’s illegal actions taint the evidence itself. This is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. So, if you were subjected to an illegal traffic stop, an errant warrantless search, or a warrant that was fraudulently obtained, then you might be able to suppress incriminating evidence.
  • Improper evidence storage: The prosecution has to prove that the evidence they present is what they claim it to be. But if evidence was mishandled or stored improperly, then you might be able to raise questions as to its reliability. If the doubts are significant enough, then you could suppress the evidence altogether.
  • Failure to advise you of your rights: When you’re subjected to custodial interrogation, the police are required to notify you of your Miranda rights, which include your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. If you’re not advised of those rights and subsequently make incriminating statements, then you can argue that those statements were illegally obtained and thus should be deemed inadmissible at trial.

There might be other ways to block evidence from being used against you, too. For example, if you subpoena the prosecution’s witnesses to depose them prior to trial and they don’t show up, then you can try to block them from testifying against you.

Don’t give up on your criminal defense until you know all of your options

The stress and nerves associated with a criminal case can leave you feeling uneasy and seeking a way out of your criminal case as quickly as possible. But moving too hastily through the process could lead to costly mistakes being made that jeopardize your freedom and your future. So, before deciding on the best way to approach your case, be sure to assess and fully analyze your criminal defense options so that you know the best way to advocate for yourself in your case.